Hakim Ziyech is reportedly set to walk away from Chelsea, with the Moroccan likely to become an immediate victim of his impending capture of Raphinha.
The Blues acted quickly and decisively to take an early lead in the Raphinha transfer race. With Barcelona dropping out of the race and Arsenal struggling to negotiate a fee, Chelsea have agreed a deal with Leeds for the Brazilian.
His fee is worth at least £60m to Los Blancos, with the player now traveling for talks with owner and caretaker sporting director Todd Boehly.
The signing will be a real statement for Chelsea, who are also in talks with Manchester City for Raheem Sterling. Whether capturing Raphinha will affect their interest in sterling remains to be seen.
However, it looks like the Brazilian’s arrival will spell the end for Ziyech. The Moroccan has cut an unfortunate figure over the past few months, struggling to carve out a regular spot alongside Thomas Tuchel.
Indeed, Ziyech – the first signing of the Frank Lampard era in February 2020 – has made just 21 starts in all competitions in 2021/22.
As such, he would have been on the shopping list of several clubs, along with Atletico Madrid and even Manchester United linked.
Milan strike deal for the winger
However, it emerged last week that Ziyech was also being chased by AC Milan. And now reports claim a deal is close.
According to reports in Spain, the negotiations between Milan and the Blues have been going on for several weeks. And now a deal worth £30m (€35m) is reportedly close.
Once the deal is finalized, Ziyech will be allowed to negotiate personal terms with the Serie A champions.
However, the move should go without too many hitches. And Milan are able to offer the player the Champions League football he craves.
Money is unlikely to dent Chelsea’s pocket for long. Indeed, they send double to Leeds for Raphinha.
Hakim Ziyech never really worked at Chelsea
A player of obvious quality, Ziyech never quite won Tuchel’s trust at chelsea. Although he rarely let the team down when given a chance, the plethora of options meant he was often overlooked.
Indeed, the Blues are extremely well blessed in these forward positions. And Tuchel has often preferred the likes of Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz, with Ziyech regularly sidelined.
His move to Milan will give him that chance to re-establish himself as one of the game’s leading playmakers. Possessing a fine left foot, Ziyech will likely fit in effortlessly in Italy.
Hakim Ziyech’s AC Milan loan is almost over, reports say
Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech reportedly set to join AC Milan on loan for £5m
That said, Chelsea didn’t take the player out badly. They signed the Moroccan from Ajax when he was 27 and in his prime. Now 29, the Blues have managed to negotiate a fee that brings them back almost all of their initial investment.
In total, Ziyech has played 83 times for Chelsea, scoring 14 times.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are growing on the hope that they can secure the signature of Matthijs De Ligt, with Juventus’ hardline softening..